S. 971, Medicare Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act of 2015

S. 971

Medicare Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act of 2015

Sponsor
Sen. Ron Wyden
Committee
Ways and Means

Date
July 15, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
John Huston

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, the House will consider S. 971, the Medicare Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act of 2015, under suspension of the rules.  The bill was introduced on April 16, 2015, by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and passed the Senate by voice vote on April 22, 2015. The House Committee on Ways and Means ordered the bill reported by voice vote on June 2, 2015.

Bill Summary

S. 971 extends the authorization for the expiring Medicare Independence at Home (IAH) demonstration program, which incentivizes health-care practices to provide in-home medical services at lower costs while maintaining high quality care, for an additional two years.

Background

In 2010 Congress established the IAH demonstration program to test the effectiveness of delivering comprehensive primary care services at home and determine whether doing so improves care for Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions.[1] The program is designed to reward health care providers that provide high quality care while reducing costs. Currently, there are 15 participating sites involved in IAH.[2]

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the IAH demonstration in 2012 to serve beneficiaries with at least two chronic conditions in their home in order to avoid care in more costly settings, such as an emergency department. Participating practices, which aim to coordinate care for at least 200 beneficiaries, receive an incentive payment if they reduce the total cost of care to participating beneficiaries while maintaining quality. This program is statutorily limited to a three year pilot program, meaning Congressional action is necessary to allow the program to continue.[3]

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[1] See House Report 114-172 at 2.
[2] http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/independence-at-home/
[3] See House Report 114-172 at 2.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that enacting S. 971 would have an insignificant effect on direct spending.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.